On 30th April 2016, five teams took part in the second Norfolk Bird Race, all intent on seeing or hearing as many species of birds as they could in the allotted 24-hour period. Some teams such Northern Raiders, Fellowship of the Wing and Norfolk Home Guard decided on a midnight start, whereas the students of Tit Flock decided to start a little later. Wader Quest, who were this year’s recipient of monies raised also entered a team and went for an even more leisurely start.
Although the race was held two weeks earlier than in the previous year, the weather on the day was much better so hopes were high of some respectable scores. By midday the Northern Raiders had a clear lead with 117 species, second were Tit Flock (103), then Norfolk Home Guard (88) closely followed by Fellowship of the Wing (86) and Wader Quest (77) bringing up the rear. The Norfolk Home Guard captain Ian Dearing was feeling unwell so their team finished early, but not as early as Wader Quest who enjoyed their day and put in what can only be described as a matinee performance. A lack of local knowledge (of the traffic not the birds) caused the Northern Raiders some mighty problems in the afternoon and Tit Flock caught up and came past by late afternoon, leading until the end.
The final scores were Tit Flock (142), Northern Raiders (136), Fellowship of the Wing (127), Norfolk Home Guard (124) and Wader Quest (105). Congratulations to Jake Gearty, Drew Lyness, Alex Berryman and Michael Murphy on their deserved win.
On a sad note, two days before the race Chris White’s dad (David White) died, meaning Chris had to withdraw from the Norfolk Home Guard team, with Nigel Packer stepping in as a late replacement. Chris and his sponsors still kindly donated their money even though Chris couldn’t take part, and this year race is dedicated to his father, our thoughts are with him, friends and family.
Even though Wader Quest came last on the day, they were the biggest winners in the end with total funds raised by the Norfolk Bird Race 2016 being £1664.10. Rick and Elis Simpson of Wader Quest will be presented with a cheque by race organiser Andrew Whitelee on Sunday 22nd May at the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair.
Thank you to everyone who took part, raised money, donated money, tweeted, liked, followed and promoted, without you this wouldn’t have happened.